We recently finished reading the Gospel of Mark in our morning Bible study.  The following post is a copy of our notes from the last few weeks.  This book includes one of my favorite verses, Mark 10:45:

For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.

Author: Mark, also called Marcus in NT

Date: AD 57-60 (approx)

Subject: the life, teachings, death, resurrection and ascension of Jesus Christ

Setting: the Holy Land- the Jordan Valley, Galilee, Jericho and Jerusalem

Key People: Jesus, the disciples, Pilate, the Jewish religious leaders

The book of Mark contains 16 chapters.

1. The Preparation 1:1-13
2. The Galilean Ministry 1:14-9:50
3. The Journey to Jerusalem 10:1-52
4. The Final Week 11:1-15:47
5. The Resurrection and Ascension 16:1-20

Bible scholars generally agree that this narrative was the first Gospel written. This book was written for the Gentiles (probably Romans) rather than Jews. Mark had a sincere desire to win the Gentile Romans to Christ.

Mark traveled with Paul and Barnabas, most likely when he was a very young man. He gained great experience in missionary work. He matured over the years and ministered as a co-laborer with Paul, Timothy and Peter. During his association with Peter, Mark learned many of the facts about Christ’s ministry, which later became a part of his Gospel record. Peter and Mark may have been very much alike in temperament and spent much time together. They must have talked at length of the Lord’s life on earth, and Mark must have jotted down many precious memories from one so close to Jesus. Peter called Mark his son, which probably means that Peter was his spiritual father, who led him to faith in Jesus Christ.

The theme of the book of Mark could be simply stated as The Humble Servant. Mark depicts Christ as a worker of wonders, but emphasized that He performed these miracles for the benefit of the people and that He presented Himself unto them as a servant. Jesus was determined to lead as a servant and to set an example for you and me. Here is his message: If you want to win, lose yourself. If you want to be first, be last. If you want to be a leader, be a servant. Greatness is not determined by how many people you lead but by how many you serve. (Ch 10:45)

Favorite verses: 1:11, 5:36, 8:34-37, 9:37, 10:6-9, 14-16, 27, 31, 45
11:24, 12:30, 13:5-13, 31-33, 14:22-26, 16:6, 15, 19

Sources: Alpha Omega Publications
Read Your Bible One Book at a Time, Woodrow Kroll



A few months ago, my daughter and I decided to turn our empty garden space into a pumpkin patch with a sunflower border.  We dug the rows, planted the seeds, crossed our fingers and waited.  Fast forward 3 months and we were proud of our great harvest!  I already miss the pretty view out my bedroom window.

Due to the dry summer, we really needed to water the pumpkins more but we learned our lesson.  I’m sure we could have gotten 20-30 more on the vines with regular watering.

We planted large pumpkins for carving and small ones for baking.  We had enough to share with friends and neighbors, decorate our home and driveway, do science experiments and crafts and use in recipes.

Enjoy a few of our favorite fall recipes and activities in this post.

~ Painting pumpkins!

~ Carving pumpkins!

~Science experiments!  (baking soda, vinegar and food coloring)

Save those seeds to make a healthy delicious snack!  Pumpkin seeds are rich in antioxidants, iron, zinc, magnesium and many other nutrients.  It’s a quick and easy process to enjoy all those seeds.

Preheat oven to 300.  Scrape the pulp and seeds out of the pumpkin.  Separate the seeds from the stringy pulp, rinse well and shake dry.  Spread the seeds single layer on an oiled baking sheet and roast 30 minutes to dry them out.  Then toss the seeds with olive oil and seasonings.  Return to oven and bake until crisp and golden, about 20 more minutes.

Sweet recipe: toss with cinnamon and sugar

BBQ: toss with brown sugar, chipotle chili powder and ground cumin.

Or just toss with salt and pepper!

To use the fresh pie pumpkins for cooking and baking, follow this link from the Pioneer Woman.

I recently tried recipes for double layer pumpkin pie and baked pumpkin French toast with our fresh pumpkins!  Both are kid friendly and so delicious!

One final thought….beware in your pumpkin patch!  You may find a really odd one once in awhile…. but I think it’s a keeper!

Happy Fall Ya’ll


For the first few months of this school year, we are studying the gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.  The following notes are from our morning Bible study.

Author: Matthew, formely known as Levi before he was chosen by Jesus to be His follower. The name Matthew means “God’s fully grown man”

Date: AD 50-58 (approx)

Subject: birth, life, teaching, miracles, death and resurrection of
Jesus Christ

Setting: the Holy Land- Bethlehem, Egypt, Nazareth, the Judean wilderness, Galilee and Jerusalem

Key People: Jesus, Mary, Joseph, the wise men, John the Baptist, the disciples, the religious leaders of Jerusalem, Pilate and Mary Magdalene

The book of Matthew contains 28 chapters.
He wrote this book to convince Jews everywhere that Jesus of Nazareth was indeed the promised Messiah and that He was the fulfillment of the OT prophecies about a coming Redeemer. He references fulfilled prophecy 17 times.

Matthew was a tax collector and despised by his fellow countrymen. He used his experience with money to share parables in this book. Money is mentioned more often than in any other Gospel. This book helps us understand that the Holy Spirit worked through ordinary men to put together an inspired record of the brief time that God’s son was on this earth.

For 3 years, Matthew was a disciple of the Lord Jesus Christ and learned from His life and teachings. He was sent out as an apostle with the other chosen disciples to all the people of Israel. As an apostle, he freely gave of himself to preach, to heal the sick, to cleanse the lepers, to raise the dead and to cast out demons. We can imagine that the people of that day were utterly amazed to see a former publican doing all those things. After Christ’s resurrection, Matthew was among the 120 who were baptized by the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost; and he continued to minister through the power of the Holy Spirit.

The Beatitudes- Ch 5
The Lord’s Prayer- Ch 6
The Great Commission- Ch 28

Favorite verses: 1:21, 4:17, 5:14-16, 44, 6:21, 24, 33, 7:12, 9:37, 11:28, 15:18, 16:26, 18:5, 11, 20, 19:14, 30, 20:28, 21:22, 22:37-39, 25: 33-40, 28:6


Sources: Alpha Omega Publications
Read Your Bible One Book at a Time, Woodrow Kroll

Mini pumpkin cinnamon rolls

Quick and yummy breakfast treat that is perfect for fall.  You just can’t go wrong with pumpkin butter!

These mini rolls are super easy to make.  The hard part may be finding pumpkin butter at your local stores.  I recently checked Walmart and Kroger with no luck.  It might just be too early in the season because last year Kroger carried this item.  I finally checked a small store (Shop n Save)  that carries Walnut Creek items and sure enough…there were several jars on the shelf.  Serve with a side of strawberries or other fresh fruit.  

Bistro Chicken Pasta Salad

I’m always looking for new lunch ideas that don’t need reheated.  Especially in the summer, it’s refreshing to enjoy a chilled delicious lunch.  My husband has recently started traveling daily for work and his office (his car) doesn’t have a microwave and it’s not always convenient for him to go to one of his stores to use their break area.  So, for this reason I’ve been constantly searching for healthy, delicious cold lunches….something other than boring cold sandwiches.  

We recently tried this chicken pasta salad and it’s a keeper!  So simple and fresh, it’s quick and easy to put together the night before.
Instead of feta, I used fresh mozz balls.  We added a few crackers on the side and a cup of cold applesauce.